Thanksgiving is a holiday centered entirely around gluttony. I used to think it was THE holiday centered around gluttony, but I think if you extend gluttony to the full sense of the word, then Christmas takes the cake (no pun intended). Thanksgiving is more relaxed. Thanksgiving is kind of a simpler, gentler form of gluttony, giving you a nice, warm tryptophan haze through which to view football, rather than a manic, anxiety ridden, grin-plastered-to-your-face-bolt-it-down-so-we-can-get-to-the-next-hedonistic-present-fest, Christmas-style gluttony. Thanksgiving lets you push all that rampant consumerism to another day (specifically the next day, on Black Friday).
As you most likely know, I have a very large extended family. Both sides. And in either case, no one person could ever possibly feed them all. Because of this, all major functions tend to be potlucks.
I’m a big fan of potlucks. They simply cannot be improved upon. I would much rather have a lot of little bits of many dishes, and get a chance to try out everything, than one big helping of even my favorite foods. However, because of this, I’m not sure I’ve really developed certain dishes that are a “must have” for Thanksgiving.
Turkey, of course, and I always like mashed potatoes when I can get them. Stuffing is kind of hit or miss; when it’s good, I really like it, but there’s a good chance I won’t. I usually try for a piece of pumpkin pie because I don’t often have it, but honestly, I prefer apple. Other than that, I have three family-specific dishes that come to mind: grandma’s pickles, grandma’s buns, and Aunt Kris’ brown sugar bacon wrapped weenies. However, I do get those last three at multiple family events throughout the year, so I’m not sure they count.
How about you, gentle reader? Anything in particular that says, “Thanksgiving” to you? What’s your favorite dish?